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Will I Give Jesus Everything?
Memorial of Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr
When Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side. A scribe approached and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” Another of his disciples said to him, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” But Jesus answered him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”
Opening Prayer: Jesus, I find my pride, vanity, and sensuality always fighting to keep me from giving myself fully to your love and service. Help me through this time of prayer to deepen my spirit of surrender to your call of love.
- I Will Follow: “I will follow you wherever you go.” Although our hearts desire to follow Jesus wherever he leads us, without his grace it’s impossible. We have too great a tendency to sin and selfishness. But God’s grace is real and bigger than any selfish inclinations we may have! By our baptism, we have been given not only sanctifying grace but the infused theological virtues of faith, hope, and love that equip us as they are exercised and matured to truly follow the call of Jesus as his children. We have all the tools we need to share the Gospel with those around us.
- Nowhere to Rest His Head: “The Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” One of the great tragedies of our times is that seemingly so few Christians are truly responding to Jesus’s invitation to follow him. Many say, “I believe in God in my own way!” That is the complete opposite of Christ’s call to sell all, take up our cross, and follow him. When we follow Christ in obedience and abandonment, we welcome him into our heart and our soul. He makes a little heaven of this sanctuary within us and rests his head there. How blessed we are to be accompanied in this way by the Lord of creation.
- Follow Me…Now: “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.” We are all attached to the things of this life, and often have what seem like very good reasons to hold on tightly. Jesus knows we struggle with letting go, and yet, with confidence and firm decision, he invites us to follow him and leave all else behind. Why do we sometimes hesitate? We know that if we abandon ourselves to the One who created us and knows us best, that he will take care of our concerns for this life.
Conversation with Christ: Jesus, I want to truly follow you unconditionally, which is so hard for me. But I believe that if I am generous in giving everything over to you, you will be even more generous in equipping me to live my life completely in union with your most holy will.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will listen for and obey what you ask of me.
For Further Reflection: Consecration to St. Joseph, The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father, by Father Donald Calloway, MIC. St. Joseph is Patron of the Universal Church.
Father Todd Arsenault is from Prince Edward Island, Canada, and is a priest with the Legionaries of Christ. He spent fourteen years doing ministry in the greater Toronto area as a chaplain for Regnum Christi and couple’s groups, spiritual director, and retreat master. He is currently on a two-year sabbatical in Rome, studying for a licentiate in Spiritual Theology at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum.
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